…Has This Happened To You?
Image: Me showing off my brand new ivory suit
The taxi driver asks whether it’s a cello in the case. No sir, it’s a guitar. After a short silence driver delivers the line “I don’t know anything about music but I know what I like”. My advice is never ask what he likes. Invariably you will be disappointed by his taste – enough even to put you off a musical career.
Nice hotel! The remote control is full of buttons in different colours. After an hour you figure out how to switch on the TV but not how to change channels. You’re stuck with a foreign language news broadcast you can’t understand.
The bathroom looks good. You’re standing there naked trying to stop the jacuzzi and get the shower to work instead. Where’s the knob? Maybe the TV remote works it?
The hall manager tells you the acoustics are very good and you can hear everything at the back. You try a note or two. Dead as a dodo.
Some young chap in a black T-shirt or chapee in a white one, comes back stage just when you’re changing with your shirt hanging out and asks “you got any merchandise?”
After the show all the nearby restaurants are in the process of shutting except for the Indian one. But that’s only in the UK. On the continent there are no Indian restaurants to be found until you reach India itself.
Curried up to the eyeballs you return to your hotel and you can’t get in. After ringing on the bell for 15 minutes a half-asleep porter opens up and says “they forgot to give you a late night key”. And you think that’s good to know for next time, except there might not be a next time.
It is a rule of life that the smaller the town the later you will be driven back to the rail station. Arriving with 30 seconds to spare, no sweat, seems perfectly OK to the locals. You as a stranger in town find this quite stressful. Don’t worry, they say, you’ll be fine. That ofcourse makes you more nervous.
Arriving back at your home destination you stand in line for a cab. Taxis appear one at a time with long intervals in between. It’s cold and windy. At this rate it will be ages before it’s your turn. Eventually yours’ arrives. The driver looks you straight in the eye and says “is that a guitar in the case?” And you say yes, it’s a classical guitar. He’s stumped for an answer. You look out the window and say nothing. Then he says “My favourite piece is Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s guitar concerto no 1. Do you know it? I’ve got loads of guitar recordings”.
Now we’re talking!
All these are true incidents of my own experience. Some have happened once, and others frequently.
Thank you for reading.